Increasing Value in Leaders’ Meetings

Let’s not talk about 4-H for a minute.  Instead, let’s talk about you…

What do you do in your spare time?  How do you decide how to spend your precious free time?  What makes an event or activity worth leaving your home after a long day of work?  Before you jump ahead, jot your answers down on a piece of paper.  (No, seriously do it).

Now, let’s get back to 4-H world.  What do your Leaders/Volunteers get out of coming to your Leaders’ meetings (or whatever term you use to describe a group of volunteers who get together on a regular basis)?  Does it match your own expectations of what you expect, when expending your leisure time on something?

It’s easy to fall into the trap of just updating our leaders on all the upcoming deadlines and adjourning as quickly as possible (because people are busy, right?).  But if they are receiving no more for than time, than what they could glean from reading a fact sheet, they won’t come back for more.

So what’s the answer?  Plan your meeting the 4-H way!

We know that good 4-H meeting is comprised of three parts- Business (15 minutes), Educational program (30 minutes) and Recreation (15 minutes).  Model this approach as you plan your next Leaders’ meeting.


  1. Business- Your volunteers (particularly power/influence motivated volunteers) want to have a voice.  How are you providing opportunities for this in your meeting?
  2. Educational program-  Are you tired of doing programs on _________ (fill in the blank)?  Chances are your volunteers are tired of it too.  Remember- 4-H is FUN, and so should be the educational programs.  Ask your volunteers what they want to learn this year.
  3.  Recreation-  We have long touted the physical, social, and mental benefits of recreation in 4-H club meetings for youth, why should this be any different for adults?  Plus, they can learn some great games to take back to their club members.  Check out this publication full of ideas!

Remember, your volunteers are spending their precious free time with YOU!  Make it worth their time and they will reward you with their attendance and  support.


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